Hunting, gathering and farming were the order of the
day then, the men will go to farm to plant, weed or harvest their yams, their
African beans like Ihihe, Akpaka, Kpemkpen Ewa and other delicious beans
varieties that has gone into extinction, the women will either be breaking palm
kernel, drying their walnut, castor fruit, most times, Oye will be at home
alone while every other members of the family would had gone to farm. Omi was a
great Herbalist, who travels a lot on Nbia mission. To this, Izagbo would sneak
into the house, perhaps asked question about the family, where Oye come from.
In her simplicity, Oye would narrate stories of their ordeal, their experience
at Oki before they came to the plain of Aradan.
Izagbo fed on it with rapt interest and passion. I was said that Oye was
a lively girl with broad smiles and laughs aloud. Imagine being in the presence
of a young beautiful girl with such charm and grace. With time, the
relationship between Oye and Izagbo became suspicious. Anytime they went to
farm and Oye is left at home to take care of some domestic chores, Izagboh will
secretly came back to meet her. At first, it started with a pure interest and
love. So the presence of Izagboh made Oye to become adamant to other marriage
advances. It was a time Fathers decide marriage for their daughters but Oye
resisted all these.
should have noticed what was going on in his family, but the type of services
that Izagboh offered to him beclouded his senses judgment. Perhaps, he was
waiting for a time that Izagboh would make his request. He was already
determined and was head bent on living with Izagboh on this promising land of
Freedom and prosperity. People were already trouping into this new found land,
whose fame was already growing like wild harmatan fire. I think Iroro, his wife
knew everything that was going on. Iroro knew about the unusual afternoon sleep
that had been plaguing Oye of recent. She also may have noticed the recent
increase in the size of their daughter. The usual happiness and lustful feeling
that Oye had, was enough to tell an experience mother that the young damsel had
tasted the food meant for elders.
if the responsibility for whatever that had happened was from Izagboh, they
would accept it. Izagboh was a tall and well built young man of about 24 – 26
years old. He was dark in complexion with strong set muscles. That was the type
of man that could put two men of his age to flight in a wrestling duel. In
those days, men’s pride was in their strength and agility. In wrestling, you
pin down your opponent in one swift move without breathing hard. In dancing, your stamp of
feet on the ground should be heard in a distance. Such men were those who sleep,
with large noise from the nostrils. Izagboh snores. When he sleeps people will
know that Izagboh was in that house. He was strong and powerful. Though young,
he was more man than his contemporaries. This made him perfectly fit for the
Olotu of Owa-Alero. I think such trait of physical strength and ruggedity is
still seen in the blood of men from Alioye. Izagboh was himself, he does not
pretend, he bares his feelings black and white. The only weak spot in Izagboh
was the feelings he had for Oye. It became an Achilles heel that drove him almost
crazy. Every man has his price so is every woman. Their love was born act of
divine passion, from the very dept of their heart and emotion. It was nothing
short of Agape. Moonlight provided the best time for such expression. A time
for tales and test of wilt. At night, palm wine was served while elders gather
round warm fire. The youngest serve the palm wine in a cup carved out from
Obele fruit or shell of coco nut. The eldest will receive the palm wine, give
thanks to the ancestors and the gods of the land by pouring part of it to the
ground as libation, then present it back to the presenter of the palm wine.
After the presenter had drank from the cup, this same cup is used to serve the
same person who blessed the wine before every other person could be served with
any cup. These were the order of those days. To bring in fun, you will hear
from some of the young men there, “shake it well”. It was believed that the
debris that settled under it is very potent which tend to strengthen men’s
libido. Whether it is true or not, I do not know. It was often heard from the
men that strong wine was for real men. There was this special type of wine
called, Nchuchun. This wine was carefully brewed by tempering strong wine in a
previous pot used to store palm oil. The strength of Nchuchun is unequal, more
sedating than Opium. A woman cannot stand the intoxicating effect of Nchuchun.
Real palm wine for real men. These were times men tell stories of their
exploits and expeditions. Most of those stories were exaggerated to bring pride
to the character.
and large, Oye was discovered to be pregnant and every finger was pointed at
Izagboh. This was unheard of in the
ancient time. If it were to be large community, young girls would have matched
in a protest procession and pulled down the building of both Izagboh and Oye.
It was truly ridiculous and shameful. However, their parents loved it, they
welcomed it on one condition. Izagboh must live and remain with them at this
plain of Aradan. Tradition had it that marriage can not be properly consummated
while the spouse is pregnant. He waited after the delivery and Izagboh and Oye
were properly married as husband and wife. Alioye and Idumuebor are the nearest
of kins of Owa-Alero.
it came to seniority, Alioye was made the chief Olotu or the captain of war.
Perhaps it was because he was younger and stronger than other princes of Alero
that settled in that plain of Aradan. The first site of settlement of Izagboh
was closed to their community town hall.
version claimed that Izagboh migrated from Uromi and temporarily settled at
Ute-Alieduku before he finally settled at the plain Aradan. According to this
version Izagboh did not impregnate Oye, rather, he fulfilled the entire
marriage requirement. Hence he married Oye in a proper way. Why I think this
version could be true was because then fathers had absolute power over their
wards. If that was true, Oye had no chance of rejecting any of the suitor so
long as it was in the best interest of her father, coupled with the strict
moral standard exhibited in those days as there would not be room for such
unholy act. Well let the reader judge.